USA’s original plan was to explode a nuclear bomb on the moon

Australians seem to have got very excited because Australian space expertise took part in the moon landing. And more excitement about supporting future space travel, and the Mars mission. Few people realise that the whole thing was militaristic from the start.  And it will be so in the future, as Trump is promoting weapons in space. As USA’s Deputy Sherriff, Australia will probably go along with this, and throw more tax-payer funding at it.

Landing on the Moon was option B.
Option A was to detonate a nuke on it.
The idea behind the project was ambitious, but simple — to create an explosion and lunar mushroom cloud so awe-inspiring and unavoidable that no matter where you lived on planet Earth, it would be impossible to ignore the extent of America’s military and technological might.
Inside Project A119, the secret US plan to detonate a nuclear bomb on the Moon, ABC News, By Antony Funnell for Future Tense 18 July 19, Long before JFK spoke inspiringly of sending humans to the Moon, the American intelligence community was concocting a very different plan.
Landing on the Moon was option B.
Option A was to detonate a nuke on it.
In the late 1950s, Washington set in place a secret operation to examine the feasibility of detonating a thermonuclear device on the surface of our closest celestial neighbour.
It was codenamed Project A119.
Had it gone ahead, the expression “shooting for the Moon” would have gained a whole new meaning.
A spectacular scheme born of desperationWhat might now seem unimaginable only makes sense in the context of the Cold War, historian Vince Houghton says……..
The West was given a shock with the launch of Sputnik and very quickly the US Government flew into action and said we need to do something very spectacular,” Dr Houghton says.
“We need to do something so big that the whole world will know that this was just an anomaly, that Sputnik was just a blip, that the United States was still the big kid on the block.”
And with that, Project A119 was born.

ONE HELL OF A MUSHROOM

The idea behind the project was ambitious, but simple — to create an explosion and lunar mushroom cloud so awe-inspiring and unavoidable that no matter where you lived on planet Earth, it would be impossible to ignore the extent of America’s military and technological might.
Appointed to lead the project was a physicist named Leonard Reiffel, who later went on to become the deputy director of the Apollo Program at NASA.
Dr Houghton says when delivering the initial findings in June 1959, cost was among the major reasons why the project was scuttled.
But he says there were also concerns about damaging the lunar landscape.
“There were some scientists who said: ‘You know, we might want to walk up there some day. Maybe we don’t want to blow the hell out of it before we do,'” he says.
“But, again, Sputnik was so terrifying that a lot of people were willing to take that chance.
“A lot of people were willing to say: ‘You know what? The Moon’s big enough that we can nuke it and land on it at the same time, so let’s give this a shot.'”

THE BIG BANG THAT FIZZED

Dr Reiffel’s secret report into the feasibility of a lunar detonation was eventually declassified in 2000.
It carried a rather innocuous title: A Study of Lunar Research Flights.
It suggested that detonating a nuclear device on the Moon was technically feasible, but it gave no substantive detail as to how it might be done.
The project never proceeded to operational phase.
Interviewed by The Guardian shortly after the report’s declassification, Dr Reiffel expressed his personal relief.
“I am horrified that such a gesture to sway public opinion was ever considered,” he said.
“Had the project been made public there would have been an outcry.
“I made it clear at the time there would be a huge cost to science of destroying a pristine lunar environment, but the US Air Force were mainly concerned about how the nuclear explosion would play on Earth.”
Dr Houghton says it’s important to view Project A119 in its historical context.
He details the operation in a new book called Nuking the Moon, which examines a whole slate of radical intelligence projects that were set in motion during WWII and the Cold War, but which were never carried out…………   https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-07-17/moon-us-plans-cold-war-russia-sputnik/11220340

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